Monday, June 1, 2015

Tootsie's Owner Proposes Steakhouse, Music Venue on Lower Broadway

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 4:26 PM

A rendering shows plans for the Broadway side of the proposed steakhouse project.
  • A rendering shows plans for the Broadway side of the proposed steakhouse project.
Two veteran Nashville restaurateurs, Steve Smith and Al Ross, today announced plans to overhaul a Lower Broadway building to house a new steakhouse and music venue, called Harry O's.

Plans for the renovation project at Third Avenue and Broadway have been submitted to the Metro Development and Housing Authority, according to a release today from Smith and Ross.

"The project features a family-oriented, reasonably priced steakhouse, a rooftop patio with sweeping views of downtown and the Cumberland River and, of course, live music," the release says. The steakhouse would be called Harry O's.

The plans for the building include "a glass storefront typical of the neighborhood," it says, adding that the existing rotating corner sign (which currently says Trail West), would remain.

Smith is best known as the owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Rippy's and Honky-Tonk Central. Ross is a partner in the latter two businesses. As reported by my Nashville Post colleagues, they are also the team behind Avenue Diner LLC, developing a diner nearby at Third Avenue South and Demonbreun in SoBro.

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Don't Be Bitter: It's Negroni Week!

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 8:17 AM

As American palates have transitioned toward more bitter flavors than sweet (think pickled vegetables and amaro-based cocktails) and the craft cocktail spirit continues to grow, it makes sense that Imbibe Magazine came up with a new commemorative event in 2013, Negroni Week. The classic concoction made up of equal parts of Campari and sweet vermouth, the Negroni has enjoyed a resurgence of late among mixologists and cocktail fans.

Negroni Week runs June 1-7, and participating bars are encouraged to plan special events and donate money to their favorite charities from the proceeds of their Negroni sales during the week. Several local bars are on the list of global participants, and at least one of them will have a Negroni-themed party this week. You can also find out which particular charity your drinking dollars will be going to at the link above.

At Sinema, they have teamed up with Jagermeister for an event in their lounge bar tonight, June 1 at 9 p.m. Don't sneer. Jagermeister is a member of the amaro family, like Campari, and is trying to change its reputation from just a "challenge shot" to an ingredient in proper cocktails. Mixologist Sother Teague will offer a presentation and Q&A on various bitters and Jagermeister, while several area bartenders will help create a special Jager-themed cocktail menu, available all evening.

Participants include:

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekly Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Birthday Cake Alternative?

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Megans birthday treat
  • @MSeling
  • Megan's birthday treat
Scene colleague (and Bites' resident sweets freak) Megan Seling has a birthday coming up, so a couple of co-workers whipped up a hilarious birthday-cake alternative: Rice Krispy treats fashioned into a likeness of Megan's cheerful face. It might not have been the most sophisticated portrait, but with homemade icing dolloped on to represent eyes and mouth, it tasted good and was a big hit.

Some people don't even like cake — I know of another person with a summer birthday who demands a fresh, juicy watermelon when her special day rolls around. And some people (gasp) don't even like sweet things. For them, there's always the meatloaf-and-mashed potato "cake." Here's Martha Stewart's version.

I was lucky this year: On my birthday I was presented with a plate bearing the letters of my first name — fashioned out of homemade chocolate chip cookie! Too bad my name is only two syllables.

New celebratory ideas are always welcome, so I appeal to you, Bites Nation. What's your favorite birthday cake alternative? And what else is on your mind this week?

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Two Appealing Spanish Wines Offer Alternatives to Rosé

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 8:24 AM

It’s unofficially summer time in the South, so wine chatter has already shifted once again to rosé. But there are a number of other light wines out there that are worth exploring. Some of the more popular are pinot grigio and riesling (and prosecco, which isn't expected to dry up soon after all), but there are a couple of Spanish wines I learned about recently — both white and red — that are worth trying out this summer. Both are available for $15 or less.

The first is the Marqués de Alella Pansa Blanca. This light white is produced from the indigenous Pansa Blanca grape grown on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. It is smooth and tropcial, which makes it appropriate for cocktails or for serving with pasta or seafood. It finishes with a bit of acidity and bitterness, which makes it great for pairing with delicate cheeses and/or olives. (I can’t resist a good olive plate.)

The other is my preference, a red made from Tempranillo grapes. The El Coto de Rioja Crianza is one of Spain’s top-selling wines and among the most popular Riojas available in the world. A Rioja is typically spicy and fruity, and the El Coto — aged in oak barrels — has a woody element to its notes of raspberry and cherry. It’s low on acid and tannins, so it’s easy to drink and stands well on its own or paired with hard cheeses, meats, and (of course) Spanish food.

Extend your palate beyond pink this summer and give one of these a try.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monthly Chinese Dining Adventure at Lucky Bamboo

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 5:31 PM

It's actually been going on for several months, but Bites recently learned about the Chinese Dining Adventure series that the Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville puts on every month at Lucky Bamboo Asian Bistro on Charlotte Pike.

The alliance's president, Sallie Mayne, says the series, nicknamed "Mr. Jack's Adventure," was inspired when she was treated to a special off-the-menu meal by Lucky Bamboo's owner.

"It was the best Chinese meal I’ve had," Mayne says. "So I asked him, 'Would you cook for some of my friends, too?' And that was the beginning of Mr. Jack’s Adventure. We formalized it and connected it the Chinese Arts Alliance" — in fact, a portion of the proceeds benefits CAAN.

This Monday, June 1, will be the eighth installment, kicking off at 6 p.m. at Lucky Bamboo, 5855 Charlotte Pike. The dinner is $25, and everyone's invited (as long as your palate is adventurous, that is). From the announcement:

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Enjoy Cocktails and Cigars at City Winery Tonight

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 10:59 AM

In an event that just reeks of testosterone (although women can certainly enjoy it too), City Winery is holding a "Corsair & Cohibas" event tonight, May 28, starting at 5:30. If you click on over to their website and buy yourself a ticket for $55, you'll get to enjoy two different Cohiba cigars paired with four spirits from local favorite Corsair Artisan Distillery.

The hooch will be in the form of both cocktails and straight up, and cocktail program manager and distillery ambassador Austin Reese will be on hand to answer questions and help lead attendees through the tasting. City Winery beverage manager David Mensch is also quite the connoisseur of cigars and spirits, so he'll be serving as the host of the event up on the patio level of the winery. Truth be told, I'll bet the whole event is partially an excuse for him to enjoy some great cocktails and cigars while working.

But why not take advantage of his largesse and enjoy the same treatment yourself? Snacks from the kitchen at City Winery will be served throughout the tasting to accompany the cocktails.

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Sunday Fun Day: New Brunch Options at Trattoria Il Mulino and 360 Bistro

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 8:05 AM

While the Los Angeles Clippers may have taken on the name of "Lob City," Nashville is quickly turning into Brunch City. A few years ago it was difficult to find a decent brunch outside of a hotel or at one of chef Margot McCormack's two excellent East Nashville eateries (Margot and Marché), but now we've grown into a city where weekend midday dining options seem to be everywhere.

Two more local restaurants — the new outpost of Trattoria Il Mulino downtown and 360 Bistro in West Nashville — have started upscale brunch service of late, and from the menus I've seen, they look interesting. Trattoria Il Mulino is this week's Dining review in the Scene; Nicki P. Wood checked it out for dinner and found a lot to like. Read her review here.

Meanwhile, responding to the rise of conventioneers and other folks downtown during the day on the weekends, Trattoria Il Mulino recently added brunch service on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take a peek at the brunch menu:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Farewell to Sub Stop: The Little Pink Building Closes for Good on Friday

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 1:29 PM

A long, flat, pink building stands at the corner of Broadway and 17th Avenue South in Midtown. The building houses Sub Stop, a Nashville institution that has existed for over 40 years, with 27 of those years in the pink building. This Friday, May 29, Sub Stop will open for its very last day of business. Not long after that, the building will be demolished.

As reported by our colleagues over at Nashville Post, Atlanta-based development company Novare Group was long eyeing the 1.36-acre lot at Broadway and 17th. And as reported by the Nashville Business Journal, Sub Stop is unable to relocate, and the business itself is now up for sale. Novare has plans to close on the acquisition this summer, and in place of the little pink building, the company will build a 25-story, 352-apartment complex by the name of SkyHouse.

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Sinema Presents 'Unearthing Nashville,' a Benefit Dinner for Old School Farm

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:03 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a new table at the Nashville Farmers’ Market to buy some French breakfast radishes. Manning the table were representatives of Old School Farm, a two-year-old farm in Bells Bend dedicated to producing quality farm-to-table food while providing employment for individuals who have intellectual disabilities. I’d never heard of Old School Farm before, but very soon I learned a lot more, thanks to the chefs who are familiar with the farm, its mission and its produce.

One of the biggest fans of the farm is chef Dale Levitski of Sinema. Levitski says, “I had the opportunity to tour Old School Farm and meet the staff, and I was impressed by the simple mission of growing opportunities for their members by growing produce.” Levitski — along with other notable chefs Anthony Galzin of the soon-to-open Fifty-First Kitchen, Vasisht Ramasubramanian of Chauhan Ale & Masala House, and Nick Seabergh of The Sutler — have decided to team up and host a benefit dinner for the farm, a “fresh, fun Sunday supper underneath the stars on Old School Farm’s gorgeous land,” according to Levitski.

All the produce for the dinner will come from Old School Farm, along with Six Boots Farm, Bells Bend Farm, Foggy Hollow Farm and KLD Farm. The three-course menu will be set based on what’s harvested the day of the dinner, which will also include cocktails and other beverages, live music, a Sinema-style movie showing in the garden and a bonfire. Along with Sinema, other sponsors include Sullivan Branding, Black Abbey Brewing and Tom Gore Vineyards, so you can expect to have a good time. All proceeds from the event benefit the farm.

Unearthing Nashville, a Benefit Dinner for Old School Farm
Sunday, June 7, at 5:30 p.m.
Old School Farm
5022 Old Hydes Ferry Pike
Tickets: $100 per person
Reservations: 615-942-7821 or carrie [at] sinemanashville [dot] com

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Black Abbey Rolls Out New Cage-and-Cork Bottle Program

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 7:43 AM

While most of the breweries in town have their own particular bailiwicks, nobody has a more extensive barrel-aging program than Black Abbey Brewing Company. If you've ever taken a tour of Black Abbey's brewing facility, you've probably seen rack after rack of small and large barrels filled with some of the brewery's various beers in repose. Not limited to just the traditional bourbon barrels that many breweries employ, Black Abbey has experimented with barrels from other spirits like gin, tequila and rum to add all sorts of different nuances to their brews.

Depending on the beer and the barrel, the aging process can last from two months to as long as a year. Since Black Abbey uses their barrels two or three times, each iteration is unique, with the first pass usually exhibiting much more of the character of the original spirit and future uses revealing more of the nuances of the oak. This is part of what make barrel-aging so exciting to many craft beer lovers.

Until now, the only way to sample these special beers was to try them in Black Abbey's taproom, The Fellowship Hall, or to find it on tap at a local bar or growler fill shop that was fortunate enough to get a keg or two. If you wanted to take some home, that meant that you had to buy a growler to go, and it's illegal to open a growler in a taproom. So when you got home and cracked the cap, the clock started ticking until the beer was no longer fresh, usually a day or so tops.

Carl Meier, one of the co-owners of Black Abbey noticed that people who like to buy growlers ordinarily don't stick around to enjoy a pint or three with other bar patrons. And it's tough to share these barrel-aged beers with your friends unless you invite them over to enjoy your spoils the same day that you pick up your growler.

So Meier and his compatriots at Black Abbey have come up with anther solution to help spread the wealth with their new "cage and cork" program.

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